Infant deaths are on the rise, but we have expert tips to keep babies safe

Local News

A report from the CDC suggests deaths among infants are rising. 

According to the Centers for Disease Control, the numbers of infant deaths has risen from 1 to 17,000 in 1999 to nearly 1 in 4,000 as of 2015, but losing a child is something you can’t prepare for.

Tracy Dailey, Co-Founder Emma’s Footprints, says, “That thought never enters your mind, nor should it.”

While Tracy’s daughter, Emma, died during gestation, her organization helps many families dealing with sudden infant death.

“We have helped a lot of families… actually, our Executive Director, Julie, lost her little guy, Gus, to SIDS at 4 months old. So, we see this, unfortunately, all the time.”

Dr. Susan Moore, Allegheny Health Network Pediatrician confirms that this happens far too often.  She says putting an infant to bed on their back has helped the numbers in the long run, but the report from the CDC suggests the number of infant deaths is on the rise again. 

Though they are rising, Moore says there are some simple steps to take to avoid this type of tragedy.

“The first thing is; babies should be on their back for nighttime sleep or even naps, all the time.  And, very important, to have a safe, newer crib that fits all the modern safety standards.”

The biggest no-no?  Falling asleep with your baby on or beside you.

“Co-sleeping was very popular and is still is with some people.  And I know babies are very exhausting and they want to eat every few hours and it’s very tempting to have them in bed with us but unfortunately, that is a big issue for suffocation of the baby.”

Daily says although the wound of losing your child never truly fades, it’s important to deal with that grief.

Dailey says what she’s learned from this journey, as Emma would be 12 next month, is that she was “sad for a long time and I didn’t realize that grief is an active process”.

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